Report: Recalled toys remain easy to purchase in Illinois

(The Center Square) – A new report shows that dangerous recalled toys are still available in Illinois.

The 37th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report was released Tuesday by the Illinois Public Interest Research Group Education Fund.

Illinois PIRG Director Abe Scarr said his group attempted to buy recently recalled toys from online retail outlets and social media marketplaces.

“What we did with our investigation is we went out in October and attempted to purchase 16 different products that had been recalled at some point in 2022, and we were able to purchase the majority of them,” Scarr said. “We purchased 11 different products that had been recalled.”

Among the recalled toys were stuffed animals, action figures, bath toys and a riding toy for toddlers. The group bought some of the toys from U.S.-based online sellers including Facebook Marketplace and eBay, as well as several online toy shops.

“We are aware of the growing challenges with these kinds of ecommerce sites,” the Consumer Product Safety Commission told U.S. PIRG Education Fund. The CPSC sent a letter to Facebook/Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg in July.

The report also notes that counterfeit toys continue to infiltrate retailers’ shelves and online platforms, with many coming in from overseas. Counterfeit toys don’t necessarily meet mandatory U.S. safety standards.

According to the CPSC, about 200,000 people go to the emergency room each year with a toy-related injury or illness, with 75% of those hospitalized ages 14 years and younger.

“As an emergency department physician, I care for children with unintentional, preventable injuries routinely. It’s important for families and caretakers to follow safety guidelines on toy packaging and stay up-to-date on recalls to ensure a safe, happy holiday season,” said Dr. Elizabeth Powell, emergency medicine physician at Lurie Children’s Hospital.

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